Lisa’s colleague, sociologist John Lang, E.W., Rachel, J. Wang, Arturo B., and Larry Harnisch all let us know about Eric Fischer’s set of maps that illustrate racial/ethnic populations in a number of U.S. cities, based on Census 2000 data.They’re great for showing levels of segregation, as well as comparing racial/ethnic diversity and population density in different regions.

On the maps, red = White/Caucasian, blue = African American, green = Asian, orange = Hispanic, and gray = Other. Each dot represents 25 people. Here’s NYC, which not surprisingly has the highest apparent population density of any of the cities mapped and a high level of diversity, though also clearly the racial/ethnic groups are residentially segregated to a large degree:

At Fischer’s website, if you hover over the images you can identify individual neighborhoods/regions.



Phoenix, illustrating the low population densities characteristic of much of the Sun Belt:

Vegas, still showing the distinctive residential segregation of African Americans that first emerged when they were forced to live in a segregated neighborhood called Westside, physically separated from other parts of town by Boulder Highway (see Las Vegas: The Social Production of an All-American City for a history of its development), and the predominantly-White neighborhoods ringing the Vegas Valley:


Boise is very  White:

Fischer has up 102 different city maps, so there’s lots to play with and compare. I can’t wait until the 2010 Census data comes out to see which cities have experienced noticeable changes. Also, it’s bizarrely addictive looking at cities you’re familiar with and trying to pick out important landmarks/areas just based on the maps.

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